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Design team

updated on:

30 Apr

,

2024

Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Business: Top 7 UI/UX Design Agencies (Recommended by Industry Experts)

8

min to read

Masha Panchenko

Writer at Eleken

Masha Panchenko

Writer at Eleken

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Before you start reading this text, I want to warn you that listicles are dangerous. Imagine you have a list of top cakes. Some cake experts chose a few of the best-tasting cakes and presented them as “the ultimate list”. We can trust that they taste good, but will they be good for everyone? What if you are a vegan, have lactose intolerance, an allergy to pistachios, or just hate chocolate? Most of the time, these options are left behind, so you won’t even touch most of those top cakes.

It works the same way with top UI/UX design agencies. The lists are subjective, and even if they are based on top expertise, they rarely take into consideration different situations that happen to companies looking for designers. Our list of top UI/UX design firms is not perfectly objective either. But being a design agency, we always look around and try to learn from the best.

There is no ranking in our list. If there were a single best agency, everyone would try working with them. Many agencies make their clients happy, the secret is to know their place on the market. So, we just placed them in alphabetical order.

Eleken. SaaS products expert

When our lead designer Maksym was asked what were the best UI/UX design agencies, in his opinion, the first thing he said was, “Us, of course.” That could be the end of this article, but there is a catch.

top UI/UX design agencies. Eleken

Eleken provides SaaS design services exclusively. We literally say no to clients who come to us with other kinds of products. Why would we say no to clients? Because we want to do what we are best at — and that’s how we get such a high ranking on Clutch.

We narrow the range of our clients by product type, but our designers do all the range of product design tasks: from research to prototyping.

Brave UX. Best at research

This is one of the very few firms that call themselves specifically a User Experience design agency. And they mean it. All the cases on the website are arranged in a problem-solution structure, and the way to a solution at Brave always starts with deep research. 

top design agencies. Brave UX

The website itself looks simple yet special — even for the design agencies where you would expect anything.

top design agencies. Brave UX

I saw someone wrote on LinkedIn that they were the gods of research and analysis — and have been following their work since then”, says our designer Dmytro. There are companies in the industry that are the benchmarks for UX research, even for the best UX firms.

Clay. Silicon Valley startups darling

This company is known for working with star clients. Just look at this list of cases. They have been on the market for many years and had a chance to work with Stripe, Uber, Slack, Fiverr, and many others. Two of our designers, Dasha and Dmytro, coincided in putting Clay on the list of the top UX design agencies.

top design agencies. Clay

Does this image look familiar? It’s Slack onboarding and it is designed by Clay

Aspiring startups from Silicon Valley go straight to Clay, and the agency gives them full support on their road to success, from branding through digital design to content and development.

Media.Monks. Awards leader

With just a glimpse at their website, you feel that there is nothing that they cannot do. NFT museum for Dom Pérignon, virtual event for Air Jordan XXXV, and a CRM Salesforce marketing cloud for world’s leading tattoo brand. No surprise that they have hundreds of awards.

top UI/UX design agencies. Media.Monks

For those who need a strong creative force to boost their digital product, Media.Monks is a great choice. It’s a huge company with numerous offices all around the world, so you will likely find a team that isn’t located 12 hours west.

MetaLab. UI/UX design classics

This is another “star agency”. Main page of their website proudly shows the list of clients and nothing else.

MetaLab. top UI/UX design agencies

MetaLab worked with Slack, just like Clay, but the difference is in the cases. Clay was creating a great interactive onboarding for a new cool messaging product, and MetaLab invented Slack from the beginning (or so they claim). Their website tells a story of how Slack came with a “rough unstyled prototype and asked us to help make it great.” So they did, and I bet you’ve seen the result even if you never visited their website.

top UI/UX design agencies. MetaLab Slack

So, if you are ambitious to shoot for the stars and do it with people who did that once (or their junior colleagues), classic agencies like MetaLab will be a good choice for you. The price tag might not suit every aspiring startup — but that’s what the prestige costs.

Neuron. Strategic design

This agency is making well-thought interfaces, prioritizing functionality over trendiness. They earn special respect for making it clear on their website what their working process consists of. If you take a look at that, you understand where these functional designs come from.

top UI/UX design agencies. Neuron

And their regular meetup event in San Francisco, Beer and UX, deserves a special mention. Nowadays, when so many design agencies go completely remote, few of them still make that effort to create a live community.

Selecto. All-in-one team

This company is great for those lonely founders who want to hire a full team to make everything from ideas to ready-to-market products. They start with research and discovery and end up with a working product with a unique identity.

top UI/UX design agencies. Selecto

And as designers, we can’t skip the fact that their website has a great design. It might be surprising, but not every design agency has a well-designed landing page. The cases are presented very clearly so you can instantly see what their work looks like. What is important is that the cases get updated regularly — see that “coming soon” mark? And last but not least… The UI is damn good, too.

top UI/UX design agencies. Selecto

How to choose the right UI/UX agency for you?

Once you find out how to tell if the agency is good, you eventually will realize that there are many good agencies. Nowadays, when most of them work remotely, the pool is even bigger. To make your choice easier, we have selected two main criteria for choosing among the best UX firms.

Relevance of expertise

Basic UX principles are always the same. A good designer can make a good fintech app and a lifestyle app. However, from our experience, we know that it takes a while to get familiar with the industry and understand how the product works, especially if it is a complex data management or geospatial tool

Sometimes, it may take a couple of weeks to learn all the necessary details to be confident enough to understand user flow and thus be able to improve the UX. If the designer has already done that job on a product in a similar niche, this time will be saved.

The easiest way to find it out is to look at the list of reviews on Clutch or check company’s Clients or Cases page. Many agencies prefer to show a few cases they like most, but we publish more to show our expertise's range. They are divided by industries, so one can see what LMS, AI, or developer-focused products we have designed.

Approach to research

Some companies may have teams of UX researchers, while others are just a team of UI/UX generalists. Job titles on the team are not the key to understanding how seriously they take the research. Take a closer look at the cases. You may not see it on Dribbble shots, but you will see it described in case studies — if the company makes an effort to do the research.

top UI/UX design agencies. UX research

And then come such obvious factors as budget and availability. In most cases, you only get a quote after you have contacted an agency and made a previous call. That’s why it’s better to consider first the above-mentioned factors. If you just start by contacting every agency you see to compare the pricing, it might take you a while. If you have a limited budget, say it at the first contact — it may help you save time on calls.

Once you are on the call, it’s time to find out all that you didn’t see on the landing page and take final decision. We have a list of questions to ask design agency before hiring to give you some ideas.

Last but not least, let’s talk about one more factor that affects our decision when choosing among the UX design agencies.

Do awards matter?

Yes, but not all of them. To be exact, very few awards should influence your decision when choosing a UI/UX design agency. If you’ve seen the websites of the agencies listed here, you will see that some of them showcase their awards. It looks impressive, but don’t get fooled by sparkling medals.

For example, known design awards such as Red Dot that celebrate different kinds of design (ad campaigns, social, web) typically judge based on the look. If  visuals are your top priority design-wise an award-winning agency is a good choice. But make sure to check the award-giving organization. Along with renowned awards such as Red Dot or Cannes there are predatory awards that can be easily bought and thus represent no real quality.

I admit that relying on some kind of evaluation is natural. Let’s face it: We choose even a coffee shop by the number of stars on Google Maps. In the case of UX design agencies, Clutch works just as well as Google Maps for coffee shops. They have a ranking of agencies by country, and you can see detailed reviews. What’s good about real clients’ reviews is that you learn not only about the design quality but also the quality of communication and collaboration process.

top UI/UX design agencies. Clutch

To sum up

The thing that differentiates this listicle from other subjective listicles is that we don’t pretend to be objective. These are agencies that our designers love – though there are many more than one article can fit.

One advice we can give you is to do your research, read landing pages, check out Clutch, – and only text the ones that meet your criteria. There’s one agency on this list that you can text right away – us, of course :)

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